Unfortunately, it’s getting hard to feel shocked when a man in Hollywood is accused of sexual misconduct. As it so happens, Bill Murray is the latest man in Hollywood that women are being warned to stay away from. Here’s what we know about the allegations against the Ghostbusters actor.
Lucy Liu Called Bill Murray Out In 2021
Last year, Elementary star Lucy Liu recalled a difficult experience with Bill Murray on the Los Angeles Times’ Asian Enough podcast. According to Liu, she had a pretty severe verbal altercation with Murray on the set of the 2000 film Charlie’s Angels. While rumors have floated around for years about the tension between Liu and Murray, this was the first time Liu gave her side of what happened.
“As we’re doing the scene, Bill starts to sort of hurl insults, and I won’t get into the specifics, but it kept going on and on,” Liu recalled. “I was, like, ‘Wow, he seems like he’s looking straight at me.’I couldn’t believe that [the comments] could be towards me, because what do I have to do with anything majorly important at that time?”
Liu went on: “I literally do the look around my shoulder thing, like, who is he talking to behind me? I say, ‘I’m so sorry. Are you talking to me?’ And clearly, he was, because then it started to become a one-on-one communication. Some of the language was inexcusable and unacceptable, and I was not going to just sit there and take it. So, yes, I stood up for myself, and I don’t regret it. Because no matter how low on the totem pole you may be or wherever you came from, there’s no need to condescend or to put other people down. And I would not stand down, and nor should I have.”
Bill Murray Settles Sexual Misconduct Lawsuit
Murray came under another thick blanket of scrutiny earlier this year after his alleged misconduct halted a film’s production. New reports claim Murray settled a subsequent lawsuit for $100,000. The plaintiff, an unidentified woman who worked on the set of Being Mortal, Aziz Ansari’s upcoming directorial debut, has accused Murray of making unwanted sexual advances.
As the woman has recalled, she was on set with Murray when the older actor straddled her on a bed and began to kiss her through their masks (as production coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic). The staffer called Murray’s actions “entirely sexual,” insisting she was “horrified.” The plaintiff and another staffer who witnessed the incident both filed complaints against Murray, leading Being Mortal to pause production indefinitely.
However, Murray has since chalked the incident up to a “difference in opinion” but didn’t go into detail. “I did something I thought was funny and it wasn’t taken that way,” he said in an interview with CNBC. “The movie studio wanted to do the right thing so they wanted to check it all out, investigate it and so they stopped the production.”
Geena Davis Writes About Murray In Her Memoir
The latest accusations against Murray are retroactively the oldest, and they come from his old co-star Geena Davis. The Academy Award-winning actress recently published a memoir called Dying of Politeness. In the book, she talks about the behavior she witnessed from Murray on the set of the 1990 film Quick Change. According to Davis, while she was pursuing a role in the film, Murray repeatedly tried to use a massager he called “The Thumper” on her despite her refusing multiple times.
She also noted that Murray had a tendency to scream at her and other crew members in belligerent anger for seemingly no reason. “That was bad,” Davis replied. “The way he behaved at the first meeting … I should have walked out of that or profoundly defended myself, in which case I wouldn’t have got the part. I could have avoided that treatment if I’d known how to react or what to do during the audition. But, you know, I was so non-confrontational that I just didn’t.”
A 1990 Interview Gets Renewed Attention
Not to mention, there’s an uncomfortable 1990 interview with Arsenio Hall in which Murray can be seen trying to pull the strap down on Davis’ dress. He also touches her without restraint while she noticeably leans in the opposite direction. In that very interview, Davis even remarked that one of the first things Murray did while she was auditioning for her role in Quick Change was pull her shirt out of her pants and start tickling her stomach.
If you were to see the interview back then, the average viewer would likely think—or hope—that it was all just jokes between friends. However, looking back on the late-night appearance with fresh eyes, it all just feels icky.
It’s clear that Murray has gotten a pass up until this point because so much of his behavior can be brushed off as jokes. Who knows? Maybe that’s all he’s intended this entire time, but if your jokes involve confronting unsuspecting women with sexual advances, then maybe it’s time to get a new schtick.